*(Editor's Note: The book, "Contemporary Native American Architecture: cultural regeneration and creativity," by Carol Hershelle Krinsky, was published by Oxford University Press in 1996.)

The UNM School of Architecture and Planning offers a new course this fall in indigenous architecture. "It began with a discussion about what's going on with architecture in Native America. The last book on contemporary native architecture was published 20 years ago," said Eleni Bastea, architecture professor.*

The course, set for Mondays, 5:30-8 p.m., covers the history and practice of indigenous architecture and community design. It offers graduate or undergraduate credit in architecture, planning and art history.

Ted Jojola, regents' professor, community and regional planning, co-teaches the course with Bastea. He said, "The number of practitioners – native and non-native – working with tribes on how they approach the design process is going up. It's intriguing because tribal lands are unrestricted by code and land use ordinances."

As a result, he said, they are "slipping under the radar" in innovation and experimentation in a way they can't in mainstream America.

Native Americans participate in the design process for projects in their communities. "They include symbols and a university connection. Buildings are neumonic – they are more than functional, they help tell the story," Jojola said.

Bastea said, "We want to bring out and celebrate contemporary native architecture to see how those principles influence architecture in general. We see the possibility to collaborate to produce better buildings."

The European/Western view of indigenous architecture is that it is not of equal worth. "It was considered primitive and backward. Explorers couldn't understand or translate the symbolism or what they saw, and it is still happening in the contemporary arena," Bastea said.

Jojola added that there are racial overtones, as well. "Tribal architecture is viewed as subpar within the mainstream context. There is no acknowledgement of it – it is dismissed before they see beyond the substance." He said the same attitude applies to indigenous planning.

Bastea said that it is difficult to teach something for which there is no research. As a result they are bringing in many speakers – experts in the field either through practice or publishing – who will be part of the school's fall lecture series. After speaking to the class and a general audience, speakers spend the rest of class time with students.

Students will present papers at a colloquium.

Bastea and Jojola got a teaching grant from the Office of Support for Effective Teaching, which helps support the speaker series.

Free lectures are Mondays, 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the School of Architecture & Planning's Pearl Hall auditorium:

Aug. 23
"Introduction to Indigenous Architecture," featuring the works of Lou Weller (Caddo)
David Sloan (Dine), David Sloan Architects

Aug. 30
"Creating a Native Place – The Design and Construction of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C."
Duane Blue Spruce (Laguna/Okay Owengey), George Gustav Heye Center, NYC

Sept. 13
"Dwellings at The Source – Native American Architecture"
Peter Nabokov, Culture & World Arts, UCLA
Nabokov has conducted ethnographic and ethnohistorical research with Native American communities throughout North America. He is the author of eight books, including "Indian Running," "Native American Testimony: From Prophecy to the Present 1442 - 1992," and "Native American Architecture."

Sept. 20
"The Use of Traditional Knowledge in Design"
Patrick Stewart (Nisga'a, British Columbia), Stewart Architect
Stewart works with elders and archeologists to apply their knowledge to contemporary structures.

Sept. 27
"Habitat and Ecology"
Donna House (Dine), Ethnobiologist
House designed the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian to honor indigenous heritage. Her work is grounded in environment and earth traditions.

Oct. 4
"Indigenous Design: Emerging Gifts"
Johnpaul Jones (Cherokee-Choctaw), Jones & Jones Architects
Jones has a 40-year career as an architect and founding partner of Jones & Jones. His design philosophy emerged from his Cherokee-Choctaw ancestors, which connects him to the natural world, animal world, spirit world and human world. His designs have won widespread acclaim for their reverence for the earth, for paying deep respect to regional architectural traditions and native landscapes, and for heightening understanding of indigenous peoples and cultures of America.

Oct. 11
"Regional Practitioners' Colloquium"

Oct. 25
"Participatory Design – The Story of the User"
Michael Fredericks (Yu'pik Alaskan), RIM First People Architects
Fredericks became president of RIM First People in 2008. She worked to combine her activism in Alaska Native issues with her role as an intern architect. Graduating in May 2002 from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a master's of architecture, Fredericks specialized in incorporating community participation in design as a way of enriching projects and investing communities.

Nov. 1
"Contemporary & Traditional Aesthetics in Landscape"
Brian McCormack (Nez Perce), McCormack Landscape Architect

Nov. 8
"Student Colloquium"
Facilitated by Lynn Paxson, Iowa State University

Nov. 15
"Finding our Way (beyond Canada's apartheid)"
Leonie Sandercock, University of British Columbia
The planning portion of the course kicks off with a film by Sanderock, professor and director, School of Community & Regional Planning.

Nov. 22
"Sky City Cultural Center and Haaku Museum: A Community-Based Project"
Brian Vallo (Acoma Pueblo) & Barbara Felix, Felix Architecture & Design
Vallo is former director of the Sky City Cultural Center. He formerly served as lieutenant governor of his tribe and was the first executive director of the Acoma Historic Preservation Office.

Nov. 29
"A Lifetime of Native American Architecture: Building Towards the Indigenous Millennium"
Dennis Sun Rhodes (Northern Arapaho), Great Horse Group, PLLC
Rhodes was tutored by his great-grandmother and the tribal education system in the Arapaho language and sacred tribal traditions and conventions. He attended a missionary elementary school on the reservation and a BIA boarding school in South Dakota. He graduated from Montana State University in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in architecture. Rhodes worked with American Indian architect Denby Deegan and The Hodne-Stageberg Partners of Minneapolis. In this era, he directed the design development of award-winning projects, including the Native American Center for the Living Arts. After serving as an elected chief, he formed AmerINDIAN Architecture in 1992, serving as president until 2009.